I’ve been restraining myself from making ALL the lists about video games….which ended up meaning most are about movies…
Let’s talk about scary video games. Watching horror movies are scary, but there’s still an element missing. The ability to control those in it. In video games, you’re in control….sort of.
There have been many horror games ever since the creation of video games. But I’m just going to list 10 here. And to narrow it down a little more, I will only include one game per franchise AND only ones I’ve played…alone…and regretted playing alone…
10 Scary Video Games You Shouldn’t Play Alone:
If deep sea creatures and possibly being crushed by the overwhelming water pressure or drowning don’t scare you…how about being unable to tell what’s real or not? This deep sea horror is dark, creepy, and really makes you reconsider calamari…
9. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
The indie horror to rule all indie horrors. I could go into how this really made Let’s Plays take off…and that’s a horror all on its own, but I’ll stick to the gameplay. This was really a game that brought a specific genre of horror back into the mainstream…horror where you can’t fight back…you can only run. This wasn’t the first to do it and it also wasn’t the first to include a sanity meter…but it perfected both.
I’m cheating a little with this one. I haven’t finished this game…hell I don’t think I’ve even gotten halfway through it…but it deserves a spot on this list. Atmosphere…fantastic…Creatures…truly scary…Story…totally nuts! The artwork is disturbing in the BEST way and the gameplay is addicting.
7. Until Dawn
I played this game twice. Once on my own. The second time with a friend. What did I learn? It’s definitely scarier when you’re all alone…it’s more FUN with a friend. The fact it has replay ability so you can discover all of the branching paths is wonderful and definitely worth playing through at least twice…and those wendigo creatures are…HORRIFYING!
6. Silent Hill 3
Silent Hill is one of my all time favorite series……..but I missed PT so I can’t include it on this list…and it hurts too much to remember what COULD have been…but the third game in the series was one of my favorites. Heather is my favorite character and the story is absolutely one of my favorites. The monsters and boss fights are forever seared in my brain.
5. Fatal Frame 2
I remember when my friend gave me this game back in high school…and it took me almost five years before I could finish it…because I was so scared of it. I don’t know what it is about this game in particular that terrifies me, but having to let the ghosts get close to do more damage didn’t help.
4. Alien: Isolation
I learned a startling truth about myself playing this game…if I’m ever trapped on a ship with a Xenomorph…I would be the biggest coward. I think I spent more time inside of a locker than creeping through the halls because I was SO scared of that alien bastard hunting me down. Also, the sound design is good I never knew for sure if the sounds of the station were just sounds or the Xenomorph stalking me…well done game designers.
3. Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
In order to be fair…I have to use the remake because I’ve never played the original RE2…but this game was absolutely terrifying. Zombies, a creepy police station, sewers, and LICKERS!! TERRIFYING!! Wait…what’s that noise…stomping down the hallway? OH MY GOD!!! FEDORA MAN!!
You can’t fight. You can only run…sensing a theme here? Your only “weapon” in this game is your trusty camera. And you are going to need it when you enter the Mount Massive Asylum. Well, you’re going to need the night vision setting cause this game is DARK…like PITCH BLACK DARK. You literally can not proceed in some sections without it…OH! And you’re constantly being chased by a giant inmate who doesn’t have any lips and can crush your head in one hand.
1. Layers of Fear
This game is the first in a long time to actually cause me physical pain…when I jumped so big I banged my knee on my desk. Every scare is effective. The atmosphere will have you seeing things in the dark…hearing sounds that aren’t really there…and making your cat rubbing against your leg give you a heart attack.
Time for some Honorable Mentions. These will include games that border horror and action, games I haven’t played in a long time and maybe aren’t as scary as I remember, or anything else that I can’t think of right now.
The real question is this: is it scary because of the gothic setting and monsters…or because of its difficulty? (FYI, I love this game and have played through NG+3 and the DLC…not that I have to defend myself to anyone…or do I…)
You could argue this is more action shooter, but it has demons in it and gore…close enough.
3. Doki Doki Literature Club
Spoiler…I guess? I won’t explain why this is a horror game so if you haven’t played this game…you should.
2. The Last of Us
Zombies aren’t the true horror of this game…but those clickers are very close…
1. The Witch’s House
I couldn’t have a scary horror game list without at least one RPG Maker game. There was a period this was entire horror genre of games and this one was my favorite. The story is well written and the scares still pack a punch even today.
There are still SOOOOOO many horror video games I haven’t played/forgot to put on this list. What are some your favorite?